Women urged to get their skates on and try sport
THEY are the only Welsh women’s ice hockey team competing in the British leagues – with some members travelling more than 100 miles just to train.
And now the Cardiff Comets are encouraging more women to join them on the ice in the sport described by one of the players as “standing on a knife edge on the most naturally slippery surface in the world”.
The girls and women, who range in age from six to 50, train at Cardiff’s Ice Arena Wales as part of what is a very varied team.
Speaking about taking up the sport, proud Comet Sam Zala, 49, said: “At the age of six, 20 or 40 years old we start by learning to stand, walk, slide, turn and eventually to stop. “Then we do it all again backwards. “We mostly fall but we get up and keep doing it over and over again until we can stand and move and get faster and faster.
“We put on kit that stops us getting hurt when we fall – a kit that weighs one-and-a-half stone, but it’s a challenge just to learn how to dress.”
Sam said some members travel more than 100 miles just to train, and a further 400 miles more to take part in away games.
All in all they make up one of 28 women’s teams in the UK.
Sam added: “Everyone supports each other – on and off the ice.
“You make friends in this unique environment like no other, and have moments you will only ever experience when you are part of a team.
“No one will ever laugh at you – only with you.
“It’s so hard, it takes a month to learn how to put that kit on and from time to time you still get that wrong.
“But you learn, you go faster, turn quicker and start straying ice shavings like the fast skaters, and it makes you feel awesome.”
The Comets are now trying to encourage more girls and women to get their skates on.
Sam said all you need is the guts to show up to training sessions, which take place every Wednesday from 7.30pm at Ice Arena Wales.
For more information about the Comets, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CometsHockey